SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gabe's School Journey

Gabe had the most wonderful 4-K teacher last year. Putting my boy in school, even for just 2 days a week, was a tough thing for this Mama to do. But, I thought it might be good for Gabe to have some time with a group of children and receive the attention of various specialists that the school district had to offer. I know everything's a little different for Gabe and I didn't want to assume that education for him would be the same as the others./////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Meeting Mrs. Votis is what made up my mind. She was enthusiastic, caring, energetic, and she loved Gabe! Gabe took to school pretty well. He loved riding the bus, he loved being with all the kids, he adored Mrs. Votis, and I enjoyed a respite from his high octane energy level! He didn't really seem to gain much ground academically, but I don't think that's unusual for a preschool class. He had more practice writing and cutting than what we'd done at home and it was helpful to have to follow rules in a group and not always be the only little guy be told what to do!/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// I wasn't sure what to do when it came to Kindergarten, but when I learned that Mrs. Votis was moving up, too, I signed up for another year. I literally had to "sign up", since the school I had Gabe in was not our assigned school (even though it's half the distance from our home). I chose to have Gabe attend just 3 days a week and he was in his third week when we received a call from the principal. She informed me that Gabe's class had one too many children in it and since we were technically assigned to another school he would have to go. I like to say that, "Gabe got kicked out of Kindergarten."/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// We could have moved to the other school, but I didn't want the added distance (I drove him to school since there was no way I was going to put him on the bus for an hour), and I wasn't sure that being in school was really the best for him. So, he came home. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// It was a difficult transition for Gabe and when I finally told him (after several weeks) that school was "all done" he cried. However, when he would ask if he could go to school I would say, "No, but we can do schoolwork." He's now switched over to asking me, "Can we do schoolwork?" When I say yes he claps and exclaims, "I love that!"///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// The bottom line is, this is better for Gabe. He is doing better academically--he's learning to read and is progressing on number concepts and beginning addition. He is better rested and acts happier. School made Gabe tired and grumpy more often. He is just more content. His Mama is now the one who gets tired and grumpy more often!
We very much miss Mrs. Votis (who teared up as she said good-bye to my boy) and I may consider offering to volunteer in her classroom one afternoon a week so that Gabe can have some interaction with his friends. In the meantime, we try to get out to the Y, the library, and the Children's Museum more often; and Gabe's favorite day of the week is homeschool Sports Club day when he gets to spend 4 hours with 75 other homeschooled kids!/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// (My apologies for the lack of paragraphs. I finally got the blog post to work on my computer, but I can't solve the paragraph mystery. I type them in, but they don't show up. I've tried to create the separation with the hash marks.)